If this bill had been on our radar before this past weekend, you can bet that we would have brought it up on the edition of the Georgia Politics Podcast we recorded on Saturday.
The state House passed HB147 this week, a bill that will require doctors to force anyone seeking an abortion to first obtain an ultrasound or sonogram. Because forced medical procedures are the best way to teach someone a lesson, right? The bill is loaded with language that makes it clear that we as a state believe that most women are just too stupid to know what the hell they are doing when they seek an abortion.
[It is the purpose of this Act to:] reduce "the risk that a woman may elect an abortion, only to discover later, with devastating psychological consequences, that her decision was not fully informed"
So, I take it there are a lot of cases where women get home from their abortion and say "Wait, does this mean I'm not pregnant anymore? I totally didn't consider that! What a devastating discovery!!!!" Seriously, I'd have a hard time believing that the decision to seek an abortion is one that isn't considered and agonized over pretty seriously already in 99.9% of all cases.
If this measure passes, one thing is clear. This new requirement will not address any of the circumstances that lead women to need abortions in the first place. It won't be a deterrent to unplanned pregnancy, it won't help better educate young men and women about sex, and it won't give a broader range of people access to contraception.
What it does achieve--besides increasing the cost of health care for everyone--is simply make the process more painful for anyone who has already decided to seek the procedure.
The woman shall at the conclusion of the ultrasound be offered the opportunity to view the fetal image and hear the fetal heartbeat. The active ultrasound image shall be of a quality consistent with standard medical practice in the community, contain the dimensions of the unborn child, and accurately portray the presence of external members and internal organs, including but not limited to the heartbeat, if present or viewable, of the unborn child.
What a ridiculous level of detail on this requirement, too. Why don't we make them sit in a room full of Precious Moments figurines and decide what they would have named the baby, too? "Make sure y'all make 'em look at the organs and hear the heartbeat, too! Really rub their noses in it to get the point across to these dumb whores." The carefully-chosen criteria for the ultrasound make it clear that this isn't about making informed medical decisions (the kind that are made every day under the care of competent doctors that don't require that legislation compel them to do so). This is about shaming women into reconsidering.